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August 31, 2013
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Aztec Queen by Kamazotz Aztec Queen by Kamazotz
An Aztec queen or princess. The Aztecs did not have female rulers, but some of their close neighbors did. Among the Mexica, the Hueyi Tlatoani or "ruler" would have multiple wives. Among these, only one wife was the principal wife who would be the one to bear the heirs of the ruler. Despite not being "the ruler" of the empire, it was the woman's line that held greater importance - for she would establish the ruling family's dynasty. This is why Aztecs referred to Great Grandmothers and makers of lineage. And despite sharing a husband with multiple other wives, there were benefits to the polygamous relationship that existed. For instance, with other wives around, the principal wife wouldn't have to worry herself with mundane tasks. And not all wives of the Tlatoani or even the principal wife had to be of noble birth. One of the early Aztec rulers was married to a woman who was a slave. She would then rise to be a queen and her sons would be the rulers of the empire. This kind of social mobility was not easily achieved among Aztec society. And the prospects of a slave rising to be a queen would likely have attracted many women who were ambitious enough.

Most people tend to think of the rulers and nobles in Aztec society who had multiple wives had them for lustful reasons (like concubines). However, there was a more practical and economical reason for having more than one wife. And that was to keep a production of highly skilled weavers producing fine mantles and garments. Such cloth held tremendous economic value that most commoners would not be able to produce in quantity and quality. With more wives doing mundane tasks like cooking, sweeping, washing etc. Other wives could dedicate more of their time weaving and producing cloths.

Anyway, about the features of this outfit...The yellowish skin is an ointment that many Mesoamerican noblewomen used as makeup to beautify themselves. The teeth were also sometimes dyed red. Mexica noblewoman also anointed a creamy copal incense ointment on their feet. You can't see it here because I imagined it wouldn't change the appearance too much, except make the feet smoother and shinier in addition to the pleasant odor that copal would give the feet. According to Sahagun, palace women also painted their neck, hands, arms and breasts (the arms and breasts are covered by the huipil). The huipil (her blouse/top) is very large here. The skirt appears to be a wrap around skirt that was fastened with a sash at the waist. Aztec skirts among noble women all seem to fall very low to the ankles. Only a few examples show slightly higher skirt falling to the calves. Commoner skirts likely fell to the knees. The whole desing of the huipil and skirt is based on an image of Tecuichpotzin, the daughter of Motecuhzoma II. She was later baptized as Isabel, during the colonial period.
:iconsir-aedan-mccromlech:
Sir-Aedan-McCromlech Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I Love this picture! Really!! Estoy Anonadado
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:iconkamazotz:
Kamazotz Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
Es la Princesa Tecuichpotzin. :D
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:iconsir-aedan-mccromlech:
Sir-Aedan-McCromlech Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
La Hija de Moctezuma!!
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